Americana Highways is hosting this premiere of Benedicte Braenden’s song “The Last Place That Satan Ever Slept,” from her new album Raging River, due to be released on October 14. Raging River was produced, recorded and mixed by Christian Engfelt; co-produced by Benedicte Brænden and Stian Jørgen Sveen; and mastered by George Tanderø. Cover photo is by Christine Engstad and
cover art is courtesy of Snurrebart Design.
“The Last Place That Satan Ever Slept” is Benedicte Brænden on vocals and acoustic guitar; Stian Jørgen Sveen on lap steel guitar and electric guitars; David Wallumrød on keys; Yngve Jordalen on bass; Martin Windstad on drums and percussion; Signe Marie Rustad and Live Miranda Solberg on backing vocals; Knut Reiersrud on harmonica and Christian Engfelt on tin can. This song was written by Benedicte Brænden and Martin Hagfors.
This song takes strong, moving lyrics and delivers them in an inspirational powerhouse package. With lines like “drilling our grave for the end of the day,” she pulls no punches on the environmental urgency we are in fact living within.
The song is about the mess we’ve made of our planet, allowing the climate to deteriorate while ignoring the warning signs and closing our eyes to everything all scientists have been trying to tell us for many years. It is basically about doing the devil’s work. I guess this is the bigger message, but the basic inspiration is closer to home. I had just watched a documentary with my kids about a dead whale that was found with a belly full of plastic. It was horrible to see, so we sat down and talked about it afterward. We tried to come up with ideas of how we could reduce our use of plastic and my eight-year-old said he didn’t need balloons for his birthday party. We also agreed on not using plastic straws at all anymore. Right after our little conversation, a photo of Kylie Jenner came up in my IG feed. She was standing in a huge hallway full of balloons to celebrate her 10-month-old baby. It made me feel so helpless trying to do right by our planet – that was the beginning of this song. So in some way, I guess the song is a reminder to myself, and hopefully also others, that it is alright to feel helpless when faced with the immense task of saving the world. And it might feel like our small contributions are meaningless, but we have no choice but to continue.
It was written with my friend and co-writer Martin Hagfors. It started off with different lyrics, but Martin was bold enough to send me a completely new one, based on the idea of the text I had already written. I wouldn’t say that I was offended, but it took me a couple of weeks to let it sink in (and to work on my ego, haha), but I finally realized that this was the only right text for this song. Martin’s lyrics perfectly captured the song and made my original thoughts clearer. It turned out to be one of my favorite tracks on the album. — Benedicte Braenden
Find more detailed information about Braenden’s music and tour dates here: http://www.benedictebraenden.com